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Gmail out in China: How much do you rely on one company?

Gmail out in China: How much do you rely on one company?

This week Gmail is out in China. Most Google services have been disrupted in China since June. Google's own traffic listing for Gmail in China shows the service dropping down to zero near the end of the 25th of December - it's been at around a zero signal since then. Imagine if this happened in the United States. Even a disruption of an hour in the USA results in a news blast and a Twitter explosion - imagine if not only Gmail was out, but all Google services at once.

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Xbox Live founder leaves Microsoft

Xbox Live founder leaves Microsoft

This week the founder of Xbox Live and XNA has announced that he's leaving Microsoft. This will end Boyd Multerer's 18-year run with the company, and begins "something new" for the developer and gaming leader. This departure has nothing to do with the recent DDOS attack during the holiday break. Multerer is "super proud" of his work with Xbox, Live, and XNA, and will likely move on to another gaming-related piece of work in the near future. Code-related, he says in a Tweet.

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Xbox One price heads back to $400

Xbox One price heads back to $400

While it'd been rumored that the Xbox One's $349 price point this holiday season would be permanent, Microsoft will indeed be bringing back an extra $50 this January. Starting on the 3rd of January, 2015, the Xbox One will no longer be available for its holiday bundle price point. This includes the Xbox One Assassin's Creed Unity Bundle primarily - while bundles with Forza, Titanfall, and Sunset Overdrive will also be brought back to their original pricing, this allowing Sony a bit more wiggle-room in their console competition through early 2015.

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PSN is down and Sony isn’t handling it very well

PSN is down and Sony isn’t handling it very well

This morning it was made clear that Sony was having trouble with their PlayStation Network. Meanwhile Microsoft was having trouble keeping Xbox Live online - and the hacker group Lizard Squad claimed responsibility. According to reports throughout the day, it would appear that the Xbox Live system had largely repaired problems by around 10AM Central Time - with another spike near 2PM Central Time - with uptime returning again here closer to 5PM Central Time. Sony's PlayStation Network saw problems from around midnight until 10AM Central Time, and again over the past several hours leading up to 5PM Central Time.

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Xbox lights up with free games for post-Christmas

Xbox lights up with free games for post-Christmas

This week we'll hit the holiday season right on the nose - Microsoft knows this, and they're ready to roll with a number of games that'll be released now or in the immediate future. Of course Microsoft doesn't decide when the games that'll be released for cash will be sent out, but the "Xbox Live Games with Gold" games - that's a different subject entirely. The first bit you're going to want to look at if you have a shiny new Xbox One is "Dark Dreams Don't Die" - also known as D4.

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Xbox VR headset tipped for 2015

Xbox VR headset tipped for 2015

A new head-worn virtual reality gaming device has been tipped for release next year by Microsoft. This headset would bring features that closely resemble those of Sony's Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4, while Microsoft's device would more likely focus on Xbox One-based gaming. Microsoft would also be competing with Oculus VR and their Oculus Rift head-worn virtual reality system which, like Sony's Project Morpheus, is still in a developer beta mode right this minute as it's readied for a final consumer release.

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Minecraft Story Mode revealed with Telltale Games team-up

Minecraft Story Mode revealed with Telltale Games team-up

Beyond a mini-game of a press release called INFO QUEST II - which we'll also include here if possible - is the next generation in Minecraft gameplay. This is Minecraft Story Mode, a Telltale Games Series. This is the same group that brings you Takes from the Borderlands, The Walking Dead, and most recently Game of Thrones - they're the kings of storytelling games in episodic releases, that is to say - since all the way back in 2006 when they released their first episodic series of games. It's time to get pixely.

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GTA Online Heists trailer and details for “early 2015″

GTA Online Heists trailer and details for “early 2015″

"It's simple," says the trailer, "this will be the easiest money you ever make." Grand Theft Auto 5, aka GTA:V, works with a system called Grand Theft Auto Online, and in it, an expansion will reveal a system called "Heists". This system will be released inside of the year 2015, and it'll be released on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4, all at once. UPDATE: Rockstar suggests this system will be released in "Early 2015" - and again, we're still assuming all systems at once.

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Xbox One’s November sales outpace PS4 for the first time

Xbox One’s November sales outpace PS4 for the first time

It seems Chrstimas came a month early for Microsoft. We saw it last week and now another independent research confirms it. Microsoft's Xbox One has indeed, for the first time, outsold the PlayStation 4 in the US, though only considering the month of November. The recent holiday shopping spree was a big break for Microsoft's console, beleaguered by its rivalry with Sony's counterpart. That victory was not without its price, however, as the repeated price cuts implemented over the past months are believed to have been Microsoft's ace.

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Star Wars teaser trailer tips into #IDARB

Star Wars teaser trailer tips into #IDARB

There's one Star Wars-themed teaser out today that you might not have seen. It wasn't part of our parody collection from earlier this month. It wasn't released by Lucasfilm. Instead, it's a teaser for a game that has little to nothing to do with Star Wars at all, one called #IDARB. So what's the big deal here? It should be clear that this is the tipping point - the point at which a trailer becomes so popular in and of itself that other completely non-related companies are using it as a cultural reference.

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